So, Are We…
Pfizer’s UK patent for Viagra expires today.
Business analysts expect the drug giant’s performance to take a decidedly flaccid turn when the competition start churning out their own versions of the Little Blue Pill. This could now retail at a much lower cost, in other words, mere pence rather than pounds. I certainly hope your stockbroker warned you about this turn of events if you have shares in the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical company.
But could Pfizer’s detumescence augur the surge in confidence that we so desperately need?
I hope so. It seems our national pride is at stake.
A recent YouGov poll puts us at the bottom of the league when it comes to sexual enjoyment. Yup, apparently we Brits think we have the Worst Sex In Europe.
It isn’t easy to account for the reasons behind this touching self-doubt, but I’ll try.
Many are notoriously economical with the truth when it comes to answering the more searching questions about their most intimate bedroom activity. Perhaps the Brits greet this sort of inquisition with greater diffidence than their continental counterparts.
But then we are, as our politicians take delight in endlessly lecturing us, a catastrophically over-sexualised society. True that after the 9pm watershed, TV is awash with sexually explicit film and imagery; life starts to take on a sort of pinkish, Ann Summers-esque hue. But much of this involves reality TV and having to look at people, or parts of their bodies, that you would never, even in your wildest nightmares, expect to encounter between the sheets.
There again, 50 SoG’s popularity indicates that we’re simply ball-gagging for it. We cannot get enough mummy-porn and diluted BDSM. Our testosterone-sodden male teens are watching too much Internet porn. Now, apparently, they will only ever think of sexual intercourse in terms of anal penetration and the sort of facial you wouldn’t ask for at your local beauty parlour.
To balance this, the same survey puts Switzerland at the top of the sexual contentment league. Before your jaw hits the floor, remember that Jung, Le Corbusier, Ursula Andress, Paul Klee and Alien artist, HR Giger are (or were) Helvetian, and all of them sexy in their own way. Even so, I can’t see the Swiss as an erotically fulfilled nation, because I don’t think of them as a complacent lot, either. Far from it. I’ve always viewed them as pretty damned industrious, always striving for greater efficiency and a maximum return on their deposits. No smugness there, no. Not until they have reached 100% satisfaction with the performance and the quality of their erotic yodel. It takes effort to be a happy fornicator.
And those who seem to be trying hardest are the Danes and the Fins. However there’s a sort of dark, brooding, Nordic desperation there. They watch more porn, have more affairs (and sexually transmitted diseases) than any of their fellow-Europeans. And that’s not all. The Danes have more sex in public places; the Fins use more sex toys; the Danes have more one-night stands; the Fins like to get all theatrical and wear spiffy uniforms or fancy dress while they screw. But YouGov tells me that we Brits come a reasonably close second in the dress-up-for-sex stakes. Well, what do you expect? While they have Tom of Finland, we have Shakespeare and, er… Harold Pinter, who said he thought cricket ‘was certainly greater than sex’, bless him.
So could sport be the problem? We didn’t do too badly in hosting the Olympics, so should we combine two national obsessions and hold the first, bargain-basement-Viagra-fuelled, Sexual Olympics?
Answers in the Discussion Box please…